Just a Dash Will Do

by Kevin on June 15, 2011

The three brothers stood staring at the poster in the feed store. Tryouts were going to be held for the state ranch rodeo competition and four cowboys would be chosen from the county. A new team was picked every year and being chosen meant you were the best of the best. Each brother knew that being on this team meant fame, fortune, and your pick of any ranch job in the county.

The county fairgrounds were buzzing with excitement as the brothers pulled up to the arena on that warm Saturday afternoon. Cowboys from every ranch were warming their horses up and sizing up the area’s competition.

The judge for the competition was an old cowboy that had been on the only team that had ever won the state ranch rodeo from their county—and that had been forty years ago. He sat on his horse and watched all the contestants without ever sayin’ a word.

Dale would be entering the sorting contest. He and his horse could sort out a dead leaf in the middle of a forest during a windstorm.

Jimmy would be entering the roping contest. It was said that he could double hock a one legged steer.

Clyde was gonna ride in the ranch saddlebronc portion of the tryouts. He had slept through more rank broncs than most people had ever climbed on.

As everyone sat there watching the sorting, Dale remembered that he’d left his leggings in the truck. He was up next and wanted to look the part. “Dash! Run get my leggings out of the trailer. I’m up next so hurry!”

Dash ran past the judge as fast as his little legs would carry him. He was the fourth brother in this little ranch family. He couldn’t ride a horse at a dead walk, didn’t know which end of a rope to throw, and never showed any want for climbing on a bucking horse. Around the ranch, he was the Go-fer.

Dash came running back up with Dale’s leggings. He’d run fast enough that Dale had plenty of time to strap on his leggings before his time came up.

When Jimmy’s turn to rope came up, he decided at the last minute not to use the new rope he’d bought. “Dash! Run get my old rope out of the trailer. I don’t like the feel of this new rope and that other one doesn’t have a miss in it.”

Quick as lightning, Dash ran out to the trailer and delivered the rope to his older brother.

Later on, Clyde’s horse was in the chute and he had an idea. “Dash! Run get a saddle blanket out of the trailer. Get it and then run out in the arena and when my horse comes out of the chute, throw that saddle blanket right between his front legs so he’ll blow up and jump high.”

Dash did just like he was told and Clyde’s horse obliged.

Four months later, the state ranch rodeo was being televised and everyone from Rimrock County sat glued to their TV. Coming to the final event, Rimrock County was in second place.

They were the talk of the rodeo. Never before had a team been comprised of a whole family. Especially a team that had an eight year old little boy that couldn’t ride nor rope.

The final event was the team branding. Two teams would ride in and rope a calf with a specific number that was called, flank it, and touch the calf’s hide with a brandin’ iron pulled out of a bucket filled with flour.

When the whistle blew, Johnston County’s cowboy whooped and hollered his way into the calf herd. Calves went everywhere! Johnston County’s calf was standin’ in the back corner and had nowhere to run.

Jimmy cursed under his breath as his calf ran to the other end of the arena. He poured the spurs to his horse and went and roped his calf. Dale and Clyde followed, leaving Dash holding the brandin’ iron in the bucket. Dash had to wait at the “brandin’ fire” until the calf was flanked. When they got the calf flanked, Dash would have a long run to the other end of the arena.

Branding in Heartland by Neets and Dre

“People really criticized you for choosing an eight year old little boy for your county’s team,” the reporter asked the old cowboy from Rimrock County. “Did you know that the state championship would come down to a foot race between two cowboys with branding irons in their hands?”

The old cowboy, now a preacher, smiled a thin smile and said, “In Ephesians 4:11, the bible says ‘And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.’ In the county tryouts, there were plenty of cowboys that could rope, ride, and wrestle, but there was only one cowboy in the place that could run. And in the branding, that’s important.”

“I watched him run and get a pair of leggings. I watched him run get a rope. I even watched him run in the arena and throw a saddle blanket at a bucking horse. God can use the simplest of gifts to change the world if we are willing to be who we are meant to be.”

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  • Don Coyote


    Not ever’buddy’s called ta the “flash”
    some’s called ta be a “Dash”

    I don’t think Mother Theresa was conscientiously a-workin’ t’word sainthood . Just happened naturally. A person needs ta lissen up ta the Boss real close…He’ll tell y’all where He wants ya on the Circle.

    • Kevin

      You’re right senor!! Sometimes people want the glamor of takin’ the outside, but God can use the inside cowboy just as much, if not more.

      • Don Coyote

        Every round-up needs a coosi. Not ever’body gets ta rope and brand. But ever’body’s gotta eat.

  • melody dubose brown

    All I can say is WOW!

    • Kevin

      God bless you and yours today Melody. Thanks for droppin’ by!!

  • What’s really awesome about this story though, is that there was an earthly authority that recognized the Godly gifting/calling. We don’t always see that especially when it’s not completely clear what the gifting/calling is.

    • Kevin

      I try to ask myself that all the time. Especially when people want to help out in the ministry. My first question is, “What can you do real good and like it?” Sometimes the answers surprise me…and them!

  • Greg Box

    Awesome Thank you!

    All God’s Blessings To Ya’ll!

    • Kevin

      Thanks Greg!!!

  • Amy Nabors

    Wow. This is such a great story Kevin. We never know how God will use even the smallest of gifts. I think what is hardest about finding your purpose is that those of us who are more behind the scenes are often forgotten and unappreciated which can lead to believing we’re not needed.

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